When I was a little kid I thought evil was a pair of giant chattering teeth, the novelty toy kind, that chased my family around the back yard, trying to bite us in the butt. No lie, that was my personal hell, one of them anyway. I had nightmares about it all the time. In those dark dreams, my grandmother, mother, aunt, two uncles, my grandfather and cousin (we all shared a 3-bedroom apartment) were chased by a set of sinister incisors about the size of a Saint Bernard. Everyone but me laughed in turn as it chased them. When it chattered towards me I screamed and woke up sweating and terrified. The day after each nightmare I was afraid to go to sleep again and wondered why such evil had to exist in the world. But, my grandmother knew how to comfort me. She’d make me a fried bologna and cheese sandwich. As I ate, the tasty food and love of my grandmother made the world seemed right again. Hence, two of my life’s banes: Fear of toy teeth and comfort food.
(To this day I can’t look upon a pair of dentures without getting chills. Such is what it is like to be me. Yes, I do need your prayers.)